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How can Iran Presidents death affect South Caucasus and the Caspian Region

20 May 2024

Igor Korotchenko, the General Director of the Caspian Institute for Strategic Studies in his interview to «Moscow Baku» shared his understanding about the possible effect that the death of Iranian President may have for South Caucasus and the Caspian Region, as well as about a strange sequence of dramatic events.

Iran is one of the key players in the Caspian Region and in South Caucasus, today it is also one of the key partners for Russia, the neighbor and partner for Azerbaijan. Can the death of the Iran President have a negative impact on the region and its security? And what may be the policy of the new President with respect to relations with Baku?

In this situation Iran should be especially focused in assuring its domestic security and stability, reverting negative trends with potential adverse effect on the societal and political situation. The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has all the real power in the country backed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The IRGC will be using all possible means to prevent any forces from stirring the pot inside the country. It is especially relevant because some stakeholders may appear interested in promoting the version of the Presidents death, which will be different from the official one. Such versions may be initiated by inner forces or outside countries interested in «fishing in troubled waters» to achieve their own objectives.

Can the collective West take advantage of the situation in Iran? In my opinion, it is rather problematic. The Presidents death is unlikely to deal out meaningful trumps to external players. As we remember, recently an acute phase of the Middle East conflict took place after the missile exchange between Iran and Israel, but the situation cleared up with minimal losses. I believe that today it is not to the advantage of the USA to instigate a big regional conflict. Obviously, Israel is not interested in direct head-on military and political clash with Iran. So, it is unlikely for the collective West to have any real levers. It is highly likely that the transfer of power in Iran will be smooth.

Azerbaijan, Turkey and Russia were the first to propose their assistance to Iran immediately after the news about the helicopter incident.

Indeed, Iran has a strategical interest in good relations with Russia. Western sanctions were imposed on both our countries, so they need joint action, mutual support and development of trade and economic relations. I believe, Teheran will not change the strategic course it has been implementing over the recent years.

In general, Teheran is interested in constructive relations with all his neighbors, in normalization of its relations with Baku. This normalization of Iran-Azerbaijan relations has already taken place after a well-known attack of the Azerbaijan embassy in Teheran. It is confirmed by the fact that shortly before the accident the leaders of Azerbaijan and Iran took part in the ceremony of launching the hydraulic engineering facilities at the border between the two countries. Iran is also interested in developing the North-South ITC. Together we are interested in counteracting the interference of the collective West into the regional affairs, in developing the regional 3+3 format. In addition, we used to have interaction in a very interesting format Russia Azerbaijan Iran. Various formats of regional cooperation are especially relevant today. 

But the sequence of events really catches the attention. The attempted assassination of the Slovakian Prime Minister, the attempted coup detat in Turkey, protests in Georgia and in Armenia And now the death of the Iranian leader.

All of this is the evidence of the aggravating geopolitical situation, of the growing turbulence. Such «splashes» as the attempted assassination of Fico, the death of the President of Iran these are all very dangerous signs of instability. That is why it is extremely important to increase the security measures in South Caucasus and the Caspian Region, because these locations are closely monitored by the collective West, which is trying to manipulate them and to instigate instability. The executive power bodies this region need to function effectively, as well as secretive agencies. The authorities and law enforcement agencies need to stay on alert and to respond without hesitation to any provocative acts and attempts to undermine the security. All the neighbor countries need peace in the region, so they need to act in coordinated manner.

As for the new outbreak of protest in Georgia, let me remind you that in October 2024 national parliamentary elections will take place there, so the objective of the incumbent government is to assure their transparency and cleanliness.

The Georgian Dream is a ruling party and has the majority in the parliament. Its founder Bidzina Ivanishvili is a really serious figure with plenty of political and financial resources.

The Georgian opposition is funded from abroad, i.e., by the USA and the EU member states. The Georgian government says that the objective of the foreign agent law is to assure the integration of Georgia into the European Union minimizing all the political risks, such as turbulence and color revolutions. This is the true democracy that the West is talking about.

But the collective West was hoping to open the second front against Russia in Georgia engaging it into global anti-Russian actions, which meant sending soldiers to Ukraine, breaking the trading and economic ties with the RF and joining the blockade. The Georgian government stood up against this, because its position is pragmatic.

The veto by Salome Zurabishvili, the President of Georgia, on the foreign agent law will be overridden, and the law will come into effect. Thus, the transparency and the integrity of the forthcoming parliamentary election in the country will be assured.

Talking about Armenia, we can see that the Armenian Apostolic Church is seriously engaged in the protest. Such personage as archbishop of Tavush was put forward to orchestrate the opposition movement. In addition, the global Armenian expat community got involved. At the same time, the Karabakh clan has «played its game» demonstrating poor effectiveness. Today it can only be «pulling up the bombs» for the opposition, but it is not capable of any meaningful role. Other forces are taking the lead, and these are global supra-national forces. They are dangerous. De-facto they are against peaceful settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Will Pashinyans government be overthrown? Not likely. Once again Nikol Pashinyan will stay in power.

The Internal Affairs Minister Vage Kazaryan is his childhood playmate and today is his close political associate. The Army is staying neutral and does not interfere into political situation. The National Security Service is operating in favor of Pashinyan. The protest leaders are under active investigation and are surrounded by agents. The protesters ranks are also deeply penetrated by agents. Standard operational work is in process, the secretive agencies are informing the Prime Minister about the plots and objectives of the protesters, he is aware of their talks and plans, about everything taking place in the opposition.

The anti-Pashinyan actions are against the Constitution. Why would he leave? Serge Sargsyan decided to leave in 2018. Nikol Pashinyan does not want to leave in 2024. Hes been through some very hard times in 2020, but survived politically. Moreover, he organized extraordinary parliamentary elections and won. Hence, despite of todays protest being potentially dangerous, it will not result in overthrowing Pashinyan. The protest does not have a critical mass. The ideas of revenge and of the new war with Azerbaijan, which the archbishop put at the lead is trying to feed to the opposition, are popular only with a minor part of the society. Yes, there are revanchist groups those who are ready to march again. But at the same time there is another reality: 12 thousand of Armenian army runaways during the Second Karabakh War. This also is an indicator confronting the militarist intentions of Armenia.

From all appearances, everything will work out fine for Pashinyan. It means, that achieving the peace treaty will have better chances. Maybe, even this year. Of course, many processes and forces in Armenia are conflicting. Not everything declared by Pashinyan becomes government policy. And vice versa not all the steps undertaken by the government are de facto implemented. But the good thing is that there are indeed direct contacts between the leaders and organization of Azerbaijan and Armenia; there is evidence that they come to agreement and implement the achieved understanding into practice. It will not be an easy way, but those who do not try achieve nothing. And now we can see the delimitation and demarcation of the boundaries in progress, even though at only one section of the state border. All the above-mentioned trends have a good chance to end up with peace between Baku and Yerevan.

In my opinion, in the environment of such turbulence in South Caucasus, Ilham Aliyev as a strong politician will assure more security and stability vs other states. According to the recent statement by Alexander Lukashenko, a real leader appeared in South Caucasus, who has to bear the responsibility for the security in more global sense, and not just in his country.

Igor Korotchenko: How can Iran Presidents death affect South Caucasus and the Caspian Region. «Moscow Baku», 20.05.2024. https://moscow-baku.ru/news/politics/igor_korotchenko_kak_gibel_prezidenta_irana_mozhet_otrazitsya_na_yuzhnom_kavkaze_i_kaspiyskom_region/

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Comments

How can Iran Presidents death affect South Caucasus and the Caspian Region

20 May 2024

Igor Korotchenko, the General Director of the Caspian Institute for Strategic Studies in his interview to «Moscow Baku» shared his understanding about the possible effect that the death of Iranian President may have for South Caucasus and the Caspian Region, as well as about a strange sequence of dramatic events.

Iran is one of the key players in the Caspian Region and in South Caucasus, today it is also one of the key partners for Russia, the neighbor and partner for Azerbaijan. Can the death of the Iran President have a negative impact on the region and its security? And what may be the policy of the new President with respect to relations with Baku?

In this situation Iran should be especially focused in assuring its domestic security and stability, reverting negative trends with potential adverse effect on the societal and political situation. The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has all the real power in the country backed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The IRGC will be using all possible means to prevent any forces from stirring the pot inside the country. It is especially relevant because some stakeholders may appear interested in promoting the version of the Presidents death, which will be different from the official one. Such versions may be initiated by inner forces or outside countries interested in «fishing in troubled waters» to achieve their own objectives.

Can the collective West take advantage of the situation in Iran? In my opinion, it is rather problematic. The Presidents death is unlikely to deal out meaningful trumps to external players. As we remember, recently an acute phase of the Middle East conflict took place after the missile exchange between Iran and Israel, but the situation cleared up with minimal losses. I believe that today it is not to the advantage of the USA to instigate a big regional conflict. Obviously, Israel is not interested in direct head-on military and political clash with Iran. So, it is unlikely for the collective West to have any real levers. It is highly likely that the transfer of power in Iran will be smooth.

Azerbaijan, Turkey and Russia were the first to propose their assistance to Iran immediately after the news about the helicopter incident.

Indeed, Iran has a strategical interest in good relations with Russia. Western sanctions were imposed on both our countries, so they need joint action, mutual support and development of trade and economic relations. I believe, Teheran will not change the strategic course it has been implementing over the recent years.

In general, Teheran is interested in constructive relations with all his neighbors, in normalization of its relations with Baku. This normalization of Iran-Azerbaijan relations has already taken place after a well-known attack of the Azerbaijan embassy in Teheran. It is confirmed by the fact that shortly before the accident the leaders of Azerbaijan and Iran took part in the ceremony of launching the hydraulic engineering facilities at the border between the two countries. Iran is also interested in developing the North-South ITC. Together we are interested in counteracting the interference of the collective West into the regional affairs, in developing the regional 3+3 format. In addition, we used to have interaction in a very interesting format Russia Azerbaijan Iran. Various formats of regional cooperation are especially relevant today. 

But the sequence of events really catches the attention. The attempted assassination of the Slovakian Prime Minister, the attempted coup detat in Turkey, protests in Georgia and in Armenia And now the death of the Iranian leader.

All of this is the evidence of the aggravating geopolitical situation, of the growing turbulence. Such «splashes» as the attempted assassination of Fico, the death of the President of Iran these are all very dangerous signs of instability. That is why it is extremely important to increase the security measures in South Caucasus and the Caspian Region, because these locations are closely monitored by the collective West, which is trying to manipulate them and to instigate instability. The executive power bodies this region need to function effectively, as well as secretive agencies. The authorities and law enforcement agencies need to stay on alert and to respond without hesitation to any provocative acts and attempts to undermine the security. All the neighbor countries need peace in the region, so they need to act in coordinated manner.

As for the new outbreak of protest in Georgia, let me remind you that in October 2024 national parliamentary elections will take place there, so the objective of the incumbent government is to assure their transparency and cleanliness.

The Georgian Dream is a ruling party and has the majority in the parliament. Its founder Bidzina Ivanishvili is a really serious figure with plenty of political and financial resources.

The Georgian opposition is funded from abroad, i.e., by the USA and the EU member states. The Georgian government says that the objective of the foreign agent law is to assure the integration of Georgia into the European Union minimizing all the political risks, such as turbulence and color revolutions. This is the true democracy that the West is talking about.

But the collective West was hoping to open the second front against Russia in Georgia engaging it into global anti-Russian actions, which meant sending soldiers to Ukraine, breaking the trading and economic ties with the RF and joining the blockade. The Georgian government stood up against this, because its position is pragmatic.

The veto by Salome Zurabishvili, the President of Georgia, on the foreign agent law will be overridden, and the law will come into effect. Thus, the transparency and the integrity of the forthcoming parliamentary election in the country will be assured.

Talking about Armenia, we can see that the Armenian Apostolic Church is seriously engaged in the protest. Such personage as archbishop of Tavush was put forward to orchestrate the opposition movement. In addition, the global Armenian expat community got involved. At the same time, the Karabakh clan has «played its game» demonstrating poor effectiveness. Today it can only be «pulling up the bombs» for the opposition, but it is not capable of any meaningful role. Other forces are taking the lead, and these are global supra-national forces. They are dangerous. De-facto they are against peaceful settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Will Pashinyans government be overthrown? Not likely. Once again Nikol Pashinyan will stay in power.

The Internal Affairs Minister Vage Kazaryan is his childhood playmate and today is his close political associate. The Army is staying neutral and does not interfere into political situation. The National Security Service is operating in favor of Pashinyan. The protest leaders are under active investigation and are surrounded by agents. The protesters ranks are also deeply penetrated by agents. Standard operational work is in process, the secretive agencies are informing the Prime Minister about the plots and objectives of the protesters, he is aware of their talks and plans, about everything taking place in the opposition.

The anti-Pashinyan actions are against the Constitution. Why would he leave? Serge Sargsyan decided to leave in 2018. Nikol Pashinyan does not want to leave in 2024. Hes been through some very hard times in 2020, but survived politically. Moreover, he organized extraordinary parliamentary elections and won. Hence, despite of todays protest being potentially dangerous, it will not result in overthrowing Pashinyan. The protest does not have a critical mass. The ideas of revenge and of the new war with Azerbaijan, which the archbishop put at the lead is trying to feed to the opposition, are popular only with a minor part of the society. Yes, there are revanchist groups those who are ready to march again. But at the same time there is another reality: 12 thousand of Armenian army runaways during the Second Karabakh War. This also is an indicator confronting the militarist intentions of Armenia.

From all appearances, everything will work out fine for Pashinyan. It means, that achieving the peace treaty will have better chances. Maybe, even this year. Of course, many processes and forces in Armenia are conflicting. Not everything declared by Pashinyan becomes government policy. And vice versa not all the steps undertaken by the government are de facto implemented. But the good thing is that there are indeed direct contacts between the leaders and organization of Azerbaijan and Armenia; there is evidence that they come to agreement and implement the achieved understanding into practice. It will not be an easy way, but those who do not try achieve nothing. And now we can see the delimitation and demarcation of the boundaries in progress, even though at only one section of the state border. All the above-mentioned trends have a good chance to end up with peace between Baku and Yerevan.

In my opinion, in the environment of such turbulence in South Caucasus, Ilham Aliyev as a strong politician will assure more security and stability vs other states. According to the recent statement by Alexander Lukashenko, a real leader appeared in South Caucasus, who has to bear the responsibility for the security in more global sense, and not just in his country.

Igor Korotchenko: How can Iran Presidents death affect South Caucasus and the Caspian Region. «Moscow Baku», 20.05.2024. https://moscow-baku.ru/news/politics/igor_korotchenko_kak_gibel_prezidenta_irana_mozhet_otrazitsya_na_yuzhnom_kavkaze_i_kaspiyskom_region/